Do Long Work Hours Contribute to Divorce?

Illinois Office of Research Working Paper No. 99-0130

40 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2000

Date Written: November 1999

Abstract

In this paper, I look at the effects of long work hours on divorce using both cross-sectional and panel data from the 1991-1993 Surveys of Income and Program Participation. For the majority of Americans, 40-hour workweeks are still typical. Both men and women who work long hours (50 or more per week) have higher earnings and more education than those who work fewer hours do. On average, adding ten hours to the average husband's work week raises the probability of divorce by between one-tenth and one-half of one percentage point; while adding ten hours to the average wife's work week raises the probability of divorce by two tenths of one percentage point. I also find higher income for men reduces the probability of divorce, but higher income for women increases the probability of divorce. Finally, evidence from separations and instrumental variables estimates that rely on involuntary work schedules provide weak evidence that the OLS estimates may be biased upward by people entering work at the time of a divorce.

JEL Classification: J12, J13, J23

Suggested Citation

Johnson, John H., Do Long Work Hours Contribute to Divorce? (November 1999). Illinois Office of Research Working Paper No. 99-0130, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=197768 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.197768

John H. Johnson (Contact Author)

Edgeworth Economics ( email )

1111 19th Street NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.edgewortheconomics.com

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